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After failing her test 13 times, Scarlett Moffatt’s opening her own driving school

The Gogglebox star and I’m a Celebrity winner chats about her new BBC One programme, her mission to put more northerners on TV and her go-to spots in Durham.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 25.02.2023

We’ve all been there, struggling to learn how to drive so resort to going out with our loved ones to cut the cost.

But these DIY sessions are the ultimate relationship test and always seem to end in arguments and even some scuff and bumps. Sometimes it seems like we’ll never be able to take off those L plates… until now.

Gogglebox star and I’m a Celebrity winner, Scarlett Moffatt knows only too well what this is like after failing her driving test 13 times. Now Scarlett has opened a unique five-day driving school in Teesside for struggling learner drivers as part of her new BBC One programme, Scarlett’s Driving School.

On the show, we’ll go behind the wheel with Scarlett and other learner drivers in their lessons. But what makes this driving school unique is that the learners’ amateur teachers (their long-suffering family member or friend) will be given some much-needed help from some of the UK’s top professional driving instructors, too.

We caught up with Scarlett Moffatt to find out what to expect on the show, why she chose to open her driving school in Teesside and her mission to put more Northerners on TV.

How does it feel to have your own show?

Honestly, this has forever been a dream to have my own show on BBC One. I’m over the moon to be part of such an exciting series. Having failed my driving test 13 times, I know exactly how these learners feel and how much strain it puts on the person teaching you – no one will get in a car with me anymore. I hope that my new show will give us all the confidence to finally rip up those L plates and hit the road.

What can we expect on Scarlet Moffatt’s Driving School?

It’s a bit of an unusual driving school, we don’t just teach the learners we teach their loved ones as well. Driving lessons are very expensive and most people are asking their parents, partners or friends to take them out on lessons. So, it’s to give them the skills that they need as well so they can go away and practise. But the people that we’ve got on the show are in very similar situations to me, they’ve tried for many years and there’s just not getting it yet. But the transformations have been incredible, from the start of the week until the end they are like two different people.

Why has taken you 14 times to finally pass your driving test?

I do eventually pass my test, but I’ve been trying to pass my test for 14 years. I honestly think driving is something that just doesn’t click in my head. I used to always feel stressed in my driving lessons, whereas now thanks to Francis and Vicky, who are the driving instructors, I get excited to get in a car and we just have loads of fun now. That’s something I never said before about a driving lesson.

Why have you set up the driving school in Teesside?

When the idea first came about, I asked if we could please have the school up North because we need more northern voices on the telly. And sometimes I feel like we have a bit of a bad rap up here and when TV shows are made it doesn’t show us in the best light. I wanted to showcase how amazing the people are up here and how amazing it is here. We’ve been to really pretty places like Hartlepool Marina and Yarm.

How are you working towards putting more northerners on the TV?

I want people to know you don’t have to move to London to get a career or job opportunities in media. Frieda.TV the production company I worked with were so great with helping to give northern people opportunities. A lot of our production team were from the North East and are on trainee schemes.

 

If you were to go out to Durham where are your go-to spots?

I absolutely love Durham. My partner Scott and I live close, and we go to Durham most weeks. We get food in Tango, who do the best burgers ever, and we go to Slug & Lettuce, then we get a Tequila Rose shot at the Cosy Club and we always end the night in The Drunken Duck.

 

We’ve seen a few headlines that you might be going back to Gogglebox, what’s next for you?

Everyone keeps asking me if I’m going back on and it’s honestly the first, I’ve heard of this, I haven’t agreed to anything. I’ve just filmed my first documentary for Channel 4 which is out in July which is very exciting.

Commissioned by BBC Factual and BBC England, Scarlett’s Driving School is a 10-part series on BBC One every Monday at 8.30 pm and is available on BBC iPlayer.

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